Academy Awards printable ballot 2015

The 87th Academy Awards

Award for Best Original Screenplay presented to Herman J. Mankiewicz in 1941 for writing Citizen Kane. Image from natedsanders.com.According to its website, the Academy is “dedicated to the advancement of the arts and sciences of motion pictures.” The 87th Academy Awards will take place on Sunday February 22nd 2015 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, which has a capacity of 3, 300 seats on Oscar Night. The Academy Awards are also known as the Oscars.

The Statuette

Officially named the Academy Award of Merit, an Oscar is given in recognition of the highest level of achievement in movie making. (The Academy adopted the nickname ‘Oscar’ in 1939, but no one is quite sure where its name originated – there are a few different theories!)

Although it weighs 8½ lbs, measures 13½ inches high, and has a diameter of 5¼ inches, the Oscar statuette stands tall as the motion picture industry’s greatest honour.

MGM art director Cedric Gibbons designed the statuette: a knight standing on a reel of film gripping a crusader’s sword. It was modelled after director and actor Emilio Fernandez, who posted nude for the design. George Stanley then sculpted Gibbons’ design.

The five spokes of the film reel represent the original branches of the Academy: actors, directors, producers, technicians, and writers. The original statuettes were gold-plated solid bronze, but in today’s Oscar the bronze has been replaced by gold-plated britannia metal. R.S. Owens and Company manufactures the statuettes in Chicago, who spend 3-4 weeks creating 50 statuettes in preparation for the awards ceremony.

The Race

The ‘race’ to be nominated consists of attempts by studios, independent distributors and publicists to make sure that each of the nearly 6, 000 voting members of the Academy sees their film. It means special screenings for Academy members, free admission to commercial runs of a film, and the mailing of DVDs.

The Academy aggressively monitors Award campaigning and has issued regulations that limit company mailings to those items that actually assist members in their efforts to assess the artistic and technical merits of a film. This year, an Original Song nomination for ‘Alone Yet Not Alone’ was rescinded when the Academy discovered that the composer emailed 70 members of the Music Branch of the Academy to make them aware of his submission during the nominations voting period – during which information about the composer and lyricist is to remain anonymous. The composer, Bruce Broughton, breached of the Academy’s promotional regulations, the goal of which is to ensure that “the Awards competition is conducted in a fair and ethical manner.” It was the fifth time an Oscar nomination has been rescinded.

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